Separation and Divorce in Victoria
Learn about Marriage Separation and Divorce and De-facto Separation Laws in Victoria, including Frequently Asked Questions and useful links.
Frequently Asked Questions
To file for a divorce in Victoria you will need to have been separated from your Partner for a minimum of 12 months and one day.
If you have been married for less than 2 years, you will need to prove that you have attempted reconciliation.
You can apply for a divorce jointly with your partner, or individually.
When you file for a divorce, you will also need to consider other issues such as property settlements, agreements relating to your children and any spousal maintenance, which are not automatically dealt with at a divorce hearing. These matters need to be addressed before the divorce or within 12 months of the divorce being finalised.
For more information, you can visit the Family Court of Australia website.
In order to be granted a divorce, a couple needs to provide evidence and satisfy the court that they have been separated for 12 months, and there is no intention of reuniting.
The duration of the divorce process can vary significantly based on how effectively negotiations are managed and outcomes are agreed upon.
Marriage separation is when a couple decide to end a relationship and stop living in a marriage-like relationship – whether it be a joint decision or one partner’s decision.
Both parties do not have to consent to the separation, however both parties must be aware that the relationship is now considered to be over by at least one of the parties.
In order to be granted a divorce, a couple needs to provide evidence and satisfy the court that they have been separated for at least 12 months.
To be separated, a couple does not have to be living in separate residences. It is possible to live in the same residence but “live separately under one roof”.
The Family Law Act 1975 was amended on 1 March 2009 to be inclusive of de facto couples. The Act defines a de facto relationship as “a relationship of a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis”.
Generally couples will be classified as de facto if their relationship is greater than two years duration, however the court may also take into account a number of factors including, but not limited to:
- living arrangements
- whether the relationship is sexual
- the degree of financial dependence/interdependence,
- ownership and use of property
- whether the relationship has been registered under State laws
- any care and support of children
There are some circumstances where a relationship may be classified as de facto despite being under two years in duration, particularly if there are children involved.